Amid restrictions, mobile services remain shut in Kashmir

‘Phase-wise restoration of telephone services being done’

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Restrictions - Sweeper - Road
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SRINAGAR — Authorities on Friday tightened restrictions across Kashmir even as mobile telephone and Internet services continued to remain shut in the Valley on the third day following the killing of Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo along with his associate in a gunfight on May 06.

Barring minor clashes in Beighpora Awantipora in Pulwama district, hometown of the slain commander, the situation remained normal across the Valley, the officials said.

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Reports reaching here said a group of protesters pelted stones on deployments of police and paramilitary forces at Beighpora and adjoining areas. However, police and paramilitary forces chased them away by firing few teargas canisters. There were no reports about any serious injury to anyone in the incident.

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Naikoo and his associate Adil Ahmad were killed in an encounter in Beighpora on Wednesday following which authorities snapped mobile telephone and Internet services in the Valley.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar told reporters here that the measure has been taken as a precaution to prevent problems of “law and order”.  He said that the services would be restored as and when situation improves and a decision in this regard would be taken in a review meeting.

Soon after the news about Naikoo’s killing spread, restrictions were also imposed in most parts of the Valley including the summer capital of J&K.

Even though Kashmir is under the coronavirus lockdown from last 49 days, additional police and paramilitary forces personnel have been deployed in many sensitive and vulnerable areas of the Valley for ensuring peace, they said.

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One civilian was killed and at least 25 people suffered injuries after government forces allegedly resorted to live ammunition and fired pellets to disperse protesters in Awantipora soon after Naikoo’s killing. 16 of the injured were shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar and four suffered bullet wounds while 12 others had pellet injuries.

Meanwhile, sources said that authorities have decided to restore mobile telephone services in phased manner and it would likely be started from north Kashmir districts.

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